Stephanie Donald—Publisher. LGBT-Today
During my parents and grandparents generation, they would be quick to tell you that all their values and morality came from their parents and grandparents. It didn’t always make it right but they were always quick to tell you about it.
The gay pioneers like Barbara Gittings and Kay Tobin Lahusen, Del Martin and Phyllis Lyons, Dorr Legg, Harry Hay, Hal Call, Jose Sarria, Frank Kameny, Jack Nichols, Randy Wicker, Dick Leitsch, Harvey Milk and Vito Russo really had to invent a whole new gay morality for all of us in the future.
But where do the children of my generation get their morality and beliefs?
My generation were the hippies; the anti-establishment generation who were the lost, the restless and searching for a better world under the premise of horrible things happening to African-Americans during the civil rights years and dedicated to stopping Vietnam that really had little or no meaning and caused many Americans from all generations to question our government and wonder what we were doing and why.
When the smoke cleared, however, that restless generation flipped back hard to the right with little reason or logic to back them up. For the longest time their credo and logic was, “When you’re under 30 and you aren’t liberal, then you have no heart. If you’re not conservative after 30 then you have no brain!” Try asking one of them why you have no brain and they’ll usually stammer and stutter and sound like a kindergartner who is asked to recite the multiplication tables for the first time—assuming one could multiply at that age.
The truth is, though, that my generation has failed miserably as parents, as workers and especially as “the keepers of the republic”. We have used television, video games and the internet as surrogate parents. We have no work ethics but then again, the corporations have no morality toward their workers so I guess it evens out. Since every politician might as well have a “FOR SALE” pinned to their $5,000 Armani suit and they’re all from our generation, we only have ourselves to blame for the poor shape of our government. If the majority doesn’t like it then they should have run for public office themselves.
This past weekend Bill Clinton was awarded the GLAAD “Advocate for Change” for his work in getting the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) repealed. During his speech he credited his change over his personal convictions regarding marriage rights to his daughter Chelsea.
While Clinton’s admission is hardly unique; it does follow a chain of change in attitudes by major political figures who, until only a short time ago, were fervent anti-gay rights supporters.
Clinton and his wife Hillary were always people who meant to do good by the LGBT community and while he signed DOMA into law in 1996, at the time, he was embroiled in the Monica Lewinsky debacle, the House and Senate had just been taken over by the extreme right-wing Republicans for the first time in 40 years and he still had his backside stinging from his campaign promise to allow gays to serve openly in the United States military which only resulted in Don’t Ask Don’t Tell becoming policy for the next 20 years.
In the past year, Laura Bush, the former First Lady, at the urging of her daughters, now cautiously supports marriage equality as well as former Vice President Dick Cheney, whose daughter Mary, a legally married lesbian (Washington D.C.), managed to talk her father into signing an amicus curiae brief to the United States Supreme Court in favor of over-turning Proposition 8 in Hollingsworth v. Perry in California.
Of course everyone knows about Senator Rob Portman. He was once the golden boy of the Republican Party and on Mitt Romney’s “short list” for a running mate in the Vice Presidential seat. Two years ago his son came out to him as gay and suddenly, last month, Portman declares publicly that he now supports marriage equality.
Portman formerly was an ardent supporter of traditional marriage. Of course under modern terms I really wish someone would explain, with people like Newt Gingrich and Kim Kardashian, what exactly is traditional marriage anyway?
Perhaps it would be wise to listen to what we we’ve come to call “Generation X”. They seem to be establishing a whole new set of decent morality and ethics that might just turn this nation around.
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